Monday, February 1, 2016

There's no X in espresso...

While attempting to bring order to my vast and distinctly varied collection of personal writing works – a task that feels more like trying to build a rocket out of purple paper clips and neon green ink than a pursuit of organization – I came across a few gems from my snarky days. Who am I kidding? I’m still in my snarky days. However, these were all written during a particularly frustrating, semester long creative writing workshop that was regularly bulldozed into becoming a group therapy session for a few select individuals.  My selfish bitterness of the time most definitely shows in the numerous complaints I had towards… well… everyone.  
I worked as a barista for quite some time after getting my undergraduate degree.  During this time I became one of “those” baristas.  You probably know the type if you’ve ever frequented a boutique style espresso bar.  Intelligent, talkative, and oh so judgmental. Patience has never been my strong suit and it never showed more than in attempting to deal with the type of people that regularly enter coffee shops and try to impress a girl with their “knowledge” (how in the world can a regular coffee drinking person in this society not know that espresso has caffeine in it… seriously!?).  Not that passion for one’s trade is a bad thing, I loved learning about the industry I was working in, and it felt good to work in one of those, fair trade, organic, hippie-style, “let’s save the world one cup of coffee at a time” espresso bars.  But based purely on what I wrote during that time, I was kind of a… yeah.

The other half of my writing from that time was in my poor attempts at wit and travel. I’ve traveled. Not as much as some, but way more than others. And I have knack for finding trouble on the road. No, that’s not quite right. It’s not trouble I find, so much as humorous misadventure. As I wrote years ago:

"Not all of my travel experiences are made of disasters.  Many are of almost-disasters, situations that should have been disastrous but weren’t, or wrong turns that led into mountains of dirt roads with no exit but forward.  Some are just odd sightings of horror movie escapees, like Death Truck – which I came across in Seattle – and Flee Infested Bed, which I came across in Paris.  Some of the stories are about the return trip: three hour migraines while stuck in a middle seat of an airplane, or a seemingly haunted bathtub waiting at home for me after days of being on the road with no trustable shower anywhere to be found.  Some tales revolve around the people I met, the conversations I had.  Who else can say they had a one hour debate on the merits of cannibalism while wandering the streets of Lynnwood and Everett in Washington?" 

Okay, so… I remember most of the stories I reference in that one paragraph, but the last two? Not so much. I can only smack myself upside the head for not documenting some of those better. WHY SELF, WHY? Haunted bathtub? Where? When? Which trip? What country was I living in at the time? And the cannibalism conversation I can only assume was in some part about cultural relativism, but that’s mostly a guess at this point based on the fact that my undergraduate degree was Anthropology (and at the time of writing the above paragraph I had yet to discover the wonders of engineering and aerospace).  

Anyways, I’m realizing that this post has become distinctly… rambling. The past couple of weeks has been like that though. E. and I made a bit of progress on the circus tent. By progress I mean that I helped calculate how much fabric we will probably need, so not as much as I think we were both hoping. I’ve been recovering from two injuries, I’m back in grad school for a second Master’s degree, and after last week’s baking fiasco I have accomplished 3 fairly big cooking projects with plans to bake a 6-layer birthday cake for some friends in the coming week. 

With that I think I’ll wrap up this rambling mess of a post with something to look forward to. A list (because let’s be honest, I love lists and so assume that others must as well).

Upcoming foodie posts of projects I’ve mostly already done:

  • Empanadas with an avocado dipping sauce - (original filling, adapted pastry recipe)
  • Beef Stew - (my own original recipe and one that’s currently being considered for a cookbook, also: Excellent)
  • Puffed Pastry Pull-Apart Bread - (YES, I FINALLY SUCCEEDED) 
Coming soon to the kitchen witchery corner:

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